Ward 9 Great Neighbourhoods Calgary – Gian-Carlo Carra

This is the official website for Gian-Carlo Carra, City Councillor for Ward 9 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Illegal Encampments and the Joint Encampment Team

 
 The Joint Encampment Team (JET) project was created in response to a rise in reported resident concerns of the illegal camps since the economic downturn in 2014. Photo Source: CBC/Dave Gilson.

The Joint Encampment Team (JET) project was created in response to a rise in reported resident concerns of the illegal camps since the economic downturn in 2014. Photo Source: CBC/Dave Gilson.

Date: August 14, 2018

As you know I believe that great neighbourhoods make a great city. One of the hallmarks of a great neighbourhood is the ability of its residents to identify issues, find thoughtful and compassionate consensus for solutions and work with their City Councillor and City Administration to move those solutions from ideas to action. The Joint Encampment Team pilot project is a great example of that.

The Joint Encampment Team (JET) pilot project was created in response to a rise in reported resident concerns of the illegal camps since the economic downturn in 2014. The Ward 9 Office and I have been instrumental in ensuring that this matter was addressed quickly and resourced appropriately.

Based on the feedback of concerned residents, my office and the City of Calgary, we came up with the proposed benefits and goals of the JET pilot project. 

Goals and Benefits of the Joint Encampment Team

  1. Decreasing duplicate and multiple calls for service for the same encampment from residents.

  2. Clearing encampments quicker so camps don’t have a chance to grow.

  3. Increasing community perception of safety.

  4. Decreasing the negative environmental impact of illegal camps as they cleaned up quicker.

  5. Training staff and contractors about vulnerable populations and unique hazards to encampments.

  6. Creating a City-wide service request pilot project for illegal encampments.

  7. Creating a standard operating procedure for addressing illegal encampments.

  8. Obtaining and keeping track of the costs of addressing illegal encampments from each City department and providing them to the JET on a quarterly basis

  9. Creating a City-wide service agreement to address illegal encampments on City-owned property.

  10. Piloting illegal encampment site remediation strategies to assess future encampment prevention.

  11. Ensuring that data is centralized and analyzed to help to paint an accurate picture of encampments in Calgary to ensure appropriate resources are allocated.

Partner Agency Liaison (PAL) Team

As you may know, in the past, the City of Calgary’s Partner Agency Liaison (PAL) team would address these camps (approximately 1000-2000) with very limited resources. This two Bylaw Officer team would approach homeless encampments and connect its users to social services like shelters, affordable housing, mental health services, or other services that could help them.

The PAL Team was created in April 2010 to address illegal encampments and act as a form of outreach for persons who may not have or want access to the various housing and agency resources available, and are the only consistent resource that addresses illegal encampments on both public and private properties City-wide.

As cleaning up one site could cost up to $4,000 and pose significant health risks to the public (depending on the user of the site) the Ward 9 Office worked with Community Services to create the JET pilot project that would make identifying and helping the rough sleepers of the illegal encampments easier and facilitate quick and efficient clean ups of the sites.

Prior to this project, there was no citywide protocol for dealing with camps which led to some resident frustration. Each city department would deal with illegal encampments in its own way with a different person taking the lead, and clean up could take a long time depending on where it was located, and depending on whether the camp was on property maintained by Calgary Parks, Calgary Roads or Real Estate & Development Services.

This was unacceptable.  

This inefficiency and lack of coordination was a large source of frustration. My office continues to work with City Administration to ensure that all City departments, and our partners, such as the Calgary Police Service, the DOAP Team, and Calgary Fire are all on the same page so residents can call one number and get the appropriate services and resources allocated to rough sleepers and the sites they occupied quickly.

Your feedback is instrumental in ensuring that this program works and gets the appropriate and adequate funding it needs to get quality and substantive results.

What to do if you see an encampment

  1. Contact 311 by telephone or via mobile phone app. If reporting through 311 on your mobile phone, you can give GPS coordinates to the exact site (the 311 app will automatically do this for you).

  2. Ensure that in the details you mention “Illegal Encampment” and “Joint Encampment Team” to ensure it gets to the right group (a 311 Task will be added in September 2018, in the meantime, use the appropriate 'Task' now).

  3. Encampments should be called in to 311 unless a crime is in progress (then call 911).

  4.  Do your best to be patient. Before illegal camps can be cleaned up and removed, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) or Calgary Community Standards (Bylaw) must place a 72-hour trespass notice on the site before clearing out the area. 

  5. NEVER enter an encampment as they could be very dangerous - call 311! 

Thank you

We want to thank all Ward 9 residents and Calgarians who remained engaged with my office to make this pilot project come to fruition. We could not have done it without you and we are proud to have some of the most thoughtful, engaged and compassionate people in Calgary living in Ward 9.

Please be sure to pass this on to your friends and family across Calgary so we can spread the word and ensure that we can reach out to these vulnerable Calgarians in these illegal camps while ensuring the usability and beauty of our parks and wooded area.

 

We're Inviting You to the Forest Lawn and Forest Heights Community Objectives Workshop!

 
 RSVP for the Forest Lawn and Forest Heights Community Objectives Workshop with your City Councillor and your Team Ward 9. (Photo source: Hope Mission)

RSVP for the Forest Lawn and Forest Heights Community Objectives Workshop with your City Councillor and your Team Ward 9. (Photo source: Hope Mission)

Join Your Forest Lawn and Forest Heights Neighbours & Team Ward 9!

In 2016, your Team Ward 9 began running a series of Community Objectives Workshops (lovingly known as COWs) in every one of our great neighbourhoods.

This was an opportunity for our Ward 9 neighbours - including residents, community associations, businesses, service providers and community institutions - to come out and tell us what they love about their community, how we can improve their quality of life and how they can help drive the change they want to see in the future. 

From this work we were able to come together and develop a game plan on tackling important issues in each neighbourhood. We recorded all the data collected and distilled this information into the Ward 9 Strategic Report 2013-2017

With the ward boundaries changing after the October 2017 Municipal Election, Forest Lawn and Forest Heights are new Ward 9 communities and we're inviting our Ward 9 neighbours in Forest Lawn and Forest Heights to join us for our first Forest Lawn and Forest Heights COW!

During this Community Objectives Workshop, we'll be looking for your voice on issues like:

  • The future of Forest Heights and Forest Lawn communities
  • Social programs and youth projects in the neighbourhoods
  • 17 Avenue SE Bus Rapid Transit project
  • 36 Street SE challenges and opportunities
  • Planning and Development in Forest Lawn and Forest Heights
  • Main Streets planning for 17 Avenue SE (International Avenue)
  • Crime & Public Safety
  • Transportation & Traffic Safety
  • And everything and anything you can think of!

We are looking to evaluate and review our priorities  and identify new issues and concerns from Forest Lawn and Forest Heights residents, businesses, and community institutions!

Please note that space is limited and we ask that you click the link here or below to RSVP.

What: Forest Lawn and Forest Heights Community Objectives Workshop

Date: Saturday, September 15, 2018

Time: 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Where: Hope Mission - 4869 Hubalta Rd SE, Calgary, AB

Refreshments and Lunch will be provided

All are welcome!

RSVP NOW and help drive the work being done by your Team Ward 9.

 

12 Street SE Bridge Replacement Update

 
12 Street SE Bridge Inglewood Gian-Carlo Carra East Calgary - August 13 2018.jpg

Date: August 13, 2018

Good morning, Inglewood and Ramsay! 

I’d like to take some time this Monday morning to give you an update from The City of Calgary's Transportation Infrastructure folk on the 12 Street S.E. Bridge Replacement Project:

  1. Landscaping work is scheduled to begin today, and work areas will be fenced off prior to our work beginning. You will notice the contractor mobilizing to site including a site trailer, construction fencing, and equipment. This is the final stage of this project and we look forward to putting the finishing touches on this project.
  2. While pathway closures and detours will be required to help complete this work, detour signage will be installed and I have ensured that at least one pathway connection between 12 Street S.E. and the Bow River Pathway Network remain open throughout the duration of our work.
  3. Temporary road closures/detours may be required to move equipment and materials on and off site; We will ensure that appropriate signage is installed so that everyone in the area can continue to get around safely.

This information will be updated on the project page shortly.

Please be sure to share this information with anybody who uses the 12 Street Bridge and is interested in the neighbourhood improvements that are happening in the community! 

Thanks in advance, 

Gian-Carlo 

 

City of Calgary Project Note: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Fish Habitat and Erosion Mitigation Project Update

 
 The concept of the lagoons reconnection was reviewed through the Bend in the Bow project. As part of this work, various scientists, surveyors, and engineers will be visiting the site over the coming months.

The concept of the lagoons reconnection was reviewed through the Bend in the Bow project. As part of this work, various scientists, surveyors, and engineers will be visiting the site over the coming months.

Hi Inglewood!

Below is a note my office received from the Water Resources river engineering group. Have a read and please share it with others in Inglewood, or who might otherwise be interested in it. 

Thanks, 

Gian-Carlo Carra


Date: August 2018 

Author: Watershed Planning, Water Resources at the City of Calgary 

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary has been one of the Cities most ecologically important parks for nearly 90 years. Unfortunately, due to its age, some of the hydraulic structures that control the water level in the lagoon have passed their useful life and are putting the park’s lagoon at risk.

As part of the Bend in the Bow review process, the concept of reconnecting the lagoon to the river was suggested to improve water quality, reduce water level fluctuations in the lagoon as well as improve fish habitat.

This project involves rehabilitating the two original hydraulic control structures and reconnecting a small flow through the lagoon year round. The project is currently in the preliminary design phase and will undergo an exhaustive environmental assessment to
ensure none of the wildlife that use this park will be negatively impacted by the proposed changes.

As part of the design work and environmental assessments you may see increased activity of scientists and engineers in the park. They’re on site to help ensure this important work will be done in the best manner possible. We hope this does not impact your enjoyment of
the park and thank you for your understanding.

Project Schedule

This project is currently expected to begin construction in the winter of 2020 at the earliest. This is due to the amount of time needed to obtain regulatory approvals to do this work and because construction within the river and park is only allowed during certain timeframes in order to ensure bird nesting and fish spawning is not disturbed.

Project Details

The project site is located in and around the lagoon in the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary (Street address: 2425 9 Ave SE) Work will entail:

  • Reconnection of the lagoon to the Bow River to provide continuous flows into the lagoon, which is similar to the conditions at Prince’s Island Park lagoon.
  • Replacing and strengthening the two outlet structures and providing a more defined channel out of the lagoon at the downstream end.
  • Habitat enhancement components including large wood features which will provide habitat for both birds and fish.
  • Work on the gravel bars upstream and around the sanctuary will also be necessary to ensure the project’s functions well in the long term. 

If you have any questions, or would like more information please contact 311 or visit calgary.ca/fishcompensation

 

Guest Blog: Updates from Dover's Community City Social Worker

 
 Dover Community Times - updates from your city social worker

Dover Community Times - updates from your city social worker

Date: August 2, 2018 

Author: Binu Sebastian (The Dover Community Times)

Hello Dover! 

I hope the summer is treating you well. I have been having a rather busy summer with many initiatives going on in the community. I thought I would reach you out with some community updates!

  1. Mothers In Action:  We have a new community initiative, inspired and led by a mother, to support the children and youth in the community. Mothers In Action believe that parents, especially mothers, can play a greater role in supporting the younger generation. We will keep you all posted as it gains momentum in the community.
  2. Studio 17: I have been involved with Studio 17, which is a summer program run by the Evangel church for youth in our community. It runs out of the St. Luke’s Anglican Church gym. Studio 17 uses both basketball and hip hop as tools to engage the youth and children. It is a huge success as youth and children come in large numbers.
  3. Fair Entry Night: In partnership with Studio 17, I will be organizing a Fair Entry Night for residents to sign up to have access to affordable transit and recreational programs. We hope this will help in addressing some of the barriers that our residents face when trying to access programs and services. Fair Entry Night will be held on August 20th at 6.30 pm at St. Luke’s Anglican Church (2951 26 Ave SE). We will have staff from The City of Calgary to sign up the eligible residents for this program. Those who would like to learn more about Fair Entry Night can call me directly at 403-510-3045 or email me at binu.sebastian@calgary.ca.   
  4. Community Outreach: I am partnering with Calgary Housing and Aspen to reach out to as many residents as possible to engage them. Community Outreach is an important element of our work as we constantly look for the ways to foster community connections and also to connect residents with resources in the community.

As always, I look forward to your comments and suggestions and I can always be reached at 403-510-3045 or binu.sebastian@calgary.ca.

I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

Warm regards,

Binu Sebastian – your Community Worker
The City of Calgary
403-510-3045
binu.sebastian@calgary.ca
 

As your Community Social Worker, The Dover Community Times is an attempt to connect with you and to keep you updated with relevant  information and resources. It also offers you place where you can share your recommendations, suggestions and feedback on our collective work in the neighbourhood. You can always reach me at 403-510-3045 and binu.sebastian@calgary.ca.

 

 

Update on the Southview Affordable Housing Project

 
 The  Southview Affordable Housing site  is part of a feasibility study designed to see if a new, modern, affordable housing development on this site can be sustainable.

The Southview Affordable Housing site is part of a feasibility study designed to see if a new, modern, affordable housing development on this site can be sustainable.

Hello Southview residents!

I hope you have been having a fantastic summer despite some of the smokey conditions we’ve been experiencing in Calgary over the last little while.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that the City of Calgary stakeholder report back about the Southview Affordable Housing project is complete.

The Southview Affordable Housing site is part of a feasibility study designed to see if a new, modern, affordable housing development on this site can be sustainable.

Background

Previously the site located at 1820 33 Street SE was the location of 96 affordable housing units. Those 96 units were demolished in 2014 because of the age of the buildings and the need for extensive repairs. The current zoning allows for construction of a 3-4 storey apartment complex, providing up to 196 units.

In partnership with The City of Calgary, the Province of Alberta, and Calgary Housing Company. The Province has provided grant funding to do this work and explore the redevelopment potential of the Southview site in Calgary for affordable housing.

What was asked during the engagement?

The questions that were asked during the engagement of Southview residents were:

  1. How could the development of new housing contribute to the neighbourhood feel?
  2. How can we make these houses feel like homes?
  3. What are the key elements that would benefit the people who would be living here?
  4. What are the key elements of new development that would benefit those living in the surrounding area?

The conversation was not limited to these four questions.

What's Next?

If you would like to find out more about what your neighbours said about this project, please click the link to read the Southview Affordable Housing Stakeholder Report Back: What We Heard from July 2018.

If you would like more information about this project, please sign up to the Ward 9 Newsletter and visit the Southview Affordable Housing Engage website.

 

Keep Dover Clean Campaign

I’m reaching out today about an on-going issue in the neighbourhood that we need your help to solve. The issue is with respect to waste. There are 2 issues - illegal and unsafe dumping, and improper use and untidy management of the Black, Green, and Blue carts for Waste and Recycling.

You may have already been seeing  a stronger Bylaw presence these past couple of weeks with the illegal dumping occurring. Over the next month, there will be more Bylaw Officers in the community proactively enforcing bylaws such as illegal dumping.  The Bylaw Officers are there to address community concerns, so please feel free to ask questions if you see them on your street.

  Illegal dumping like this in Dover is unfair to the community, it's residents, and costs all taxpayers more. 

Illegal dumping like this in Dover is unfair to the community, it's residents, and costs all taxpayers more. 

Illegal and Unsafe Dumping

Illegal dumping has been happening in a number of places around Dover including the community mailboxes by 28 AV SE, at the WINS store on 34 ST SE, and at pathway entrances. This is illegal, unsafe, expensive, and unsightly. When illegal dumping occurs, City crews need to be taken away from other vital work being done, and dispatched to investigate and clean-up the mess. Crews don’t know if there are dangerous items in the material, and is unsafe not only for them, but it’s also unsafe for the children and pets of the community.

It’s ugly and unsightly, and reinforces the unfair mischaracterization the community already receives. It’s also expensive. It is much more affordable to have City services systematically and efficiently collect curbside garbage with automated trucks, than to have them respond one-by-one to clean-up manually. When people see others in their community disrespecting the public realm, other may also adopt that view, then it spreads.

Dumping or depositing waste besides unauthorized carts or landfills is a crime

Under the City of Calgary bylaws, illegal dumping is subject to a $250 fine.  Under the Province of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the fine goes up to $50,000.

  Dumping waste at unauthorized carts or sites is a crime.

Dumping waste at unauthorized carts or sites is a crime.

What to do if you see illegal dumping?

If you witness illegal dumping in progress.  Call the Calgary Police non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 and press '0' to speak to an officer to report the crime.  Record a license plate if it’s safe to do so, and report the description of the offenders.

  If you see that illegal dumping has occurred,  call 311 and report it .

If you see that illegal dumping has occurred, call 311 and report it.

If you use the app on your smartphone you can attach an image and the location. You will receive a service request number, email it to ward09@calgary.ca so my office can follow up on it.

Know your Garbage, Recycling and Composting Pickup Schedule

There are 3 easy ways to find this out:

  1. Visit Calgary.ca and enter ‘pickup schedule’ in the search bar

  2. Call 311

  3. Download the smartphone app

The app will remind you the night before your carts need to go out.

   Put your Carts out before 7 a.m.   on collection day and   put your carts away after 7 p.m.   on collection day. 

Put your Carts out before 7 a.m. on collection day and put your carts away after 7 p.m. on collection day. 

Landfill Location and Hours

If you have items that are too big to throw out in residential carts, take them to a nearby landfill.  Electronics, household chemicals, motor oil, and aerosol cans are all accepted for no cost. Tires, including tires with rims are accepted at no cost at the Shepard Landfill location.

  You can find landfill rates for household waste at Calgary.ca or by calling 311.

You can find landfill rates for household waste at Calgary.ca or by calling 311.

Community Cleanup Events

Save a trip to the landfill for items that do not fit in their waste or recycling carts.  These events are free of charge to you. 

While the community cleanups events do happen every year, it’s important we work together as a community and support one another throughout the year. If you’re able to, offer to lend a hand to a neighbour.

Great neighbourhoods thrive when its residents, businesses and institutions like churches and schools work toward a common goal. Everyone can agree that they want to live in a clean community that they are proud to call home.

  There are 2 community clean up events happening near you on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

There are 2 community clean up events happening near you on Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Contact my office

My office and I are always here to help and to respond.  Reach out to me anytime at 403-268-5330 or drop me a line at ward09@calgary.ca

Sincerely,

Gian-Carlo Carra
Ward 9 City Councillor
gccarra.ca

 

A Message from Binu Sebastian, Dover's Community Social Worker

 I'm looking forward to creating a platform for us to communicate with each other and to get your recommendations, suggestions and feedback to my work.

I'm looking forward to creating a platform for us to communicate with each other and to get your recommendations, suggestions and feedback to my work.

Written by Binu Sebastian, Dover Community Social Worker

Published on May 18, 2018

I have been your Community Social Worker for about three years now, and I thought it would be a good practice for me to reach out to you periodically with updates from my side in regards to my work in the community of Dover.

I am hoping that this will help in creating a platform for us to communicate each other and to get your recommendations, suggestions and feedback to my work. As you know, you can always reach me at 403-510-3045 and binu.sebastian@calgary.ca.

Neighbourhood Adventures: Neighbourhood Adventures is a summer camp for kids run by The City of Calgary in the month of August. Like last year, I have requested the support from schools to refer children to this camp - and there are still spaces available! Please get in touch with me if you would like to have more details about the camp to see if your child could get registered.

Meeting with School Principals in Dover: I have called for a meeting of a few principals from Dover. I am hoping that a meeting of this sort will help us explore the ways of supporting many families and children in our community. I will keep you posted with updates.

Positive Parenting Support Group: Last year, in our service providers meeting from the Greater Forest Lawn area, it was shared that we need to do more work more to support the parents in our communities at Greater Forest Lawn. We have taken that forward in partnership with Action Dignity ( formerly Ethno Cultural Council of Calgary), Sunrise Link Resource Centre and Boys and Girls Club. We have held many workshops and meetings with parents at Boys and Girls Club at Penbrooke Club - thanks to Action Dignity, Penbrooke Club and Sunrise Link for all the great work. We are currently planning as to how we can enhance the participation of more parents in this initiative. Please feel free to share any suggestions that you may have.

Neighbour Day is coming up!: June 16th we celebrate Neighbor Day in Calgary. If you have any idea to celebrate this day, please let me know. We could explore the ways to work together! It will be a great opportunity to celebrate the spirit of neighborhood in our communities.

Truth and Reconciliation: The City of Calgary is intentional in incorporating the elements of Truth and Reconciliation in our work in the communities. Therefore, I am always looking for the opportunity to connect any initiative, idea to take this forward. Please let me know if you think of any ways to augment our work in this area.

Planning for Summer: We are currently planning to have a summer engagement plan to connect with many residents in our community who are far away from resources and other community supports. I will keep you updated, meanwhile please share any ideas that you may have to engage with as many residents as possible.

Here is a hoping that you will have a great long weekend!

Warm regards,

Binu Sebastian
Community Social Worker
The City of Calgary
403-510-3045
binu.sebastian@calgary.ca

Glenmore Trail bridge removal (east of Blackfoot)

A bridge on Glenmore Trail between Blackfoot Trail and 11th Street S.E. is being replaced with a roadway. The bridge has reached the end of its lifespan and has become a maintenance liability. 

 Instead of replacing it, The City opted for a roadway. A road costs less to build and maintain than a bridge. (Photo source: CP Rail)

Instead of replacing it, The City opted for a roadway. A road costs less to build and maintain than a bridge. (Photo source: CP Rail)

Published: May 15, 2018

The CP spur line bridge will be removed May long weekend. This will have a large traffic impact. Confirmation on whether the work is going ahead or not will happen on May 17, as the work is very weather dependent and time sensitive. 

Please stay tuned to media on the morning of May 17 as Roads will make the final call on whether the work will go ahead as planned.

As you know, the speed limit in this area along Glenmore Trail has already been reduced, and this week the lanes will be narrowed in preparation for the work.  The Roads Department also set up Variable Message Boards this past weekend to let people know that they should expect delays on the upcoming May long weekend.

The City has reached out to the province to see that they get messaging out to residents using Deerfoot Trail about the closure of the ramp on May long weekend as well.

Want more information? Check out the City of Calgary's website on the Glenmore Trail bridge east of Blackfoot Trail website

2018 Community Summer Programs

Looking for some fun, FREE activities for children, youth and families this summer? These safe, supervised programs are great for making new friends and learning new activities.

 Fairview's Le Roi Daniels playground. Photo source: Calgary Playground Review)

Fairview's Le Roi Daniels playground. Photo source: Calgary Playground Review)

Need something to occupy the little ones during the summer months while getting to know your neighbours? 

Check out what programs are available in your neighbourhood  for children, youth and families, share, and enjoy! 

See you out there, Ward 9! 

Making the Case for a Skatepark in Millican-Ogden - A Guest Blog

Kids in our great neighbourhood who may not be able to afford to play organized sports like baseball or soccer might get into skateboarding because it’s so inexpensive.

 Ward 9 currently has no skateparks, nor are any planned. (Photo source: Jamil Rhajiak)

Ward 9 currently has no skateparks, nor are any planned. (Photo source: Jamil Rhajiak)

Written by: Zev Klymochko

Published: May 7, 2018

I’ve been heavily involved in skateboarding for most of my life. I started out skateboarding on the streets and sidewalks in my neighbourhood in Winnipeg. As I got a little older, I branched out to other neighbourhoods and even ended up skating downtown a lot. We had no dedicated skateparks in the city, except for a few months in the summer that would see a couple of arenas turned into skateparks with wooden ramps.

I always told myself I’d never start a sentence with, “In my day…” or “Kids these days…”

Well, in my day, we didn’t have skateparks. Kids these days have it easy—there are skateparks all over Calgary. There are seven outdoor concrete skateparks and several mobile skateparks that operate in different neighbourhoods throughout the summer—all are free to use.

I know a lot about this because I non-profit organization I helped start, the Calgary Association of Skateboarding Enthusiasts (CASE) has advocated for these skateparks. Personally, I’ve spoken to City Council, administration, and community associations, all in an effort to convince them that skateparks are a great idea.

The thing is, I’ve never considered my own neighbourhood of Millican-Ogden for a skatepark. Maybe I didn’t want to seem selfish in my advocacy. It would have been easy for someone to say, “You only want a skatepark by your house so you can use it.”

You know what? I do want a skatepark by my house now. Here’s why:

  • Millican-Ogden has the highest amount of green/park space of any neighbourhood in the city. This is one of the reasons why our neighbourhood is amazing. It also lends itself to suitable lands for a skatepark.
  • Ward 9 currently has no skateparks, nor are any planned.
  • The Green Line will come through our neighbourhood by 2026. I’m sure some of you have been to the open houses for the Green Line. With all this talk about ensuring the stations are “activated” and draw people in, wouldn’t it be great to have a skatepark near one of the stations?
  • My daughter will be two years old this June. I figure if I start my advocacy now, by the time she’s old enough to skate (or bike), we’ll have a skatepark in Millican-Ogden.
  • Skateparks have seen massive investment from the City of Calgary. The Skateboard Amenities Strategy recommends almost 270,000 square feet of skatepark terrain be developed in the next decade. With the six skateparks that have been built since 2015, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
  • The City has been studying skatepark use in recent years and they’re finding that skateparks are being used at a very high rate, especially for an amenity that is the fraction of the cost of something like an arena or swimming pool and requires very little maintenance.
  • Skateboarding will debut as an Olympic sport at the 2020 games in Tokyo. We could have the next Canadian Olympic athlete right here in our community—shouldn’t we nurture them and provide them with a place to hone their skills?

Keep in mind that, although the preferred nomenclature is “skatepark”, that doesn’t mean skateboarding is the only activity allowed. Bicycles, inline skates, and even scooters frequent these parks. And that’s a good thing.

It’s estimated that there are over 30,000 people who skate in Calgary. What would that number look like if you added the above user groups? I’m guessing we’d be well into six digits.

I want Millican-Ogden to prosper. I’ve lived in the community since 2005 and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon. I want my daughter and all the kids here to grow up with the ability to go have fun. A skatepark is one way to do that. Kids in our great neighbourhood who may not be able to afford to play organized sports like baseball or soccer might get into skateboarding because it’s so inexpensive.

If you want to help, please contact Councillor Carra and the Ward 9 office to let them know a skatepark would be a welcome addition to our neighbourhood.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, the Ward 9 Office or The City of Calgary. 

Living Our Values Through Calgary's 2019-2022 Budget Priorities - A Letter to the Councillor

Critical programs that relieve poverty, such as Fair Entry, Family and Community Support Services, and affordable and social housing must be maintained and improved upon. It is also important that all budget decisions made strive to meet the social and economic needs of those Calgarians who are most marginalized.

Women's Centre Bridgeland-Riverside Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra.jpg

Dear Councillor Carra,

We write today in response to the City’s request for input into the Municipal Service Plans and Budget Priorities for 2019-2022.

We were very encouraged by the passing of the Notice of Motion on Gender Equity and Diversity in 2017, and are looking forward to seeing a set of strong recommendations to advance gender equality in Calgary as the next step.

The Women’s Centre of Calgary believes that a great way to demonstrate commitment to the goals outlined in the Notice of Motion would be to use the principles of the Fair Calgary Policy and GBA+ (Gender Based Analysis Plus) to guide budget deliberations. GBA+ is an analytical tool used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives differently.

The federal and provincial governments have adopted GBA+ in recognition that budget decisions are not gender neutral; women may be unfairly disadvantaged. We know that on average, women are more likely to depend on public services to meet the needs of their families. This reality must be considered when determining how best to fund and deliver services.

Funding decisions grounded in the principles of equity and fairness will ensure continued access for women to essential public services. Critical programs that relieve poverty, such as Fair Entry, Family and Community Support Services, and affordable and social housing must be maintained and improved upon. It is also important that all budget decisions made strive to meet the social and economic needs of those Calgarians who are most marginalized.

As you know, the Women’s Centre of Calgary is a community organization that provides a safe, supportive space for women where they can get assistance, connect with others, and work for change. We have been working to advocate for social and economic policies that are reflective of women’s realities and experiences. The Women’s Centre community includes women from diverse social and economic backgrounds; over a half of the women who come to the Women’s Centre identify as living in poverty.

We have considerable knowledge about the issues that women face and look forward to continuing to work with you to develop services in an equitable manner.

Sincerely,

Kerry Lynn Okita, Co-Chair of the Board of the Women's Centre

Susan Gillies, Executive Director of the Women's Centre

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra, the Ward 9 Office or The City of Calgary. 

The Expansion of Peigan Trail SE

The City of Calgary is in the preliminary planning stage of this project and they do not have detailed designs related to the expansion of Peigan Trail from Barlow Trial S.E. to 84 Street S.E.

 The Peigan Trail S.E. Expansion is listed as a high priority item in The City’s    
  
  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
  
  
  
  
  2015-2024 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP) .  (Photo source: Google Maps)

The Peigan Trail S.E. Expansion is listed as a high priority item in The City’s 2015-2024 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP).  (Photo source: Google Maps)

Published May 4, 2018

Written by Eric Peters with files from Blair Hone, Adrian Tanase, and The City of Calgary

The City of Calgary is in the preliminary planning stage of this project and they do not have detailed designs related to the expansion of Peigan Trail from Barlow Trial S.E. to 84 Street S.E. (with the  railway crossing initially envisioned to remain as an at-grade crossing).

The Peigan Trail S.E. Expansion is listed as a high priority item in The City’s 2015-2024 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan (TIIP).

When funding is confirmed for the next budget cycle, the community will be able to have these concerns addressed in the detailed design. While the Peigan Trail twinning project is unfunded and included in the next 4-year capital projects plan, it will be discussed by the Council in November.

When funding is confirmed and the project will proceed with the detailed design, The City will be engaging affected community associations and business owners in the discussions.

In order to prepare for the future detail design and construction phase of this project, ISL Engineering has been retained by The City to complete this preliminary engineering report.

A few options have been looked at regarding the access to Forest Lawn Auto Parts, and there is a recommended option for the access. However, The City has only taken the design to preliminary engineering and more design work will still need to happen.

About the project

The preliminary engineering phase includes:

  • record existing roadway conditions
  • coordinate required utility work
  • complete preliminary stormwater design
  • complete preliminary roadway design, and
  • examine environmental impacts and mitigations.

The project scope includes approximately 6.5 kilometres of Peigan Trail from Barlow Trail in the west to 84 Street in the east. Much of Peigan Trail is a two-lane roadway; this project will investigate the expansion to four-lanes, as well as the ultimate six-lanes.

The preliminary engineering report will be completed in early 2018. Confirmation of the next project phases will be made by early 2019 when current and future projects are prioritized and confirmed for funding.

Project timeline

January 2017 – Preliminary engineering phase begins. 
Early 2018 – Completion of preliminary engineering design. 
June 2018 – Finalize preliminary engineering report.

Public engagement / communications

The City is committed to providing information to stakeholders along Peigan Trail, and motorists that use this roadway. This webpage is the primary source of information for this project.

If you have questions or require more information, please fill out the 311 online form.

Are Districts The Way Forward for Calgary's Community Organizations?

The Community Representation Framework Task Force has been investigating an approach of creating Council-authorized, City-supported groups of community stakeholders called ‘district forums’.

 Calgary City Council approved the formation of the Community Representation Framework Task Force who has been tasked to engage with community stakeholders to establish a new approach to community representation. (Photo Source: Colleen De Neve / Calgary Herald)

Calgary City Council approved the formation of the Community Representation Framework Task Force who has been tasked to engage with community stakeholders to establish a new approach to community representation. (Photo Source: Colleen De Neve / Calgary Herald)

Published on May 3

Written By David Couroux

Background

City Council formed a Community Representation Framework Task Force to review options and advise Council on how community organizations can more effectively represent the diverse interests and perspectives within their communities.

The Community Representation Framework Task Force is composed of a broad range of stakeholders representing Council, the development and building sector, community associations and resident’s associations, the University of Calgary and City Administration.

The goals of the Community Representation Framework are to:

  1. Enhance the effectiveness of community groups to contribute to the representation of the diverse interests and perspectives within their communities;
  2. Promote community representation best practices and help develop a more collaborative working relationship between community groups and The City;
  3. Revitalize City processes related to planning and development so they are more open, inclusive and welcoming to a broad range of community groups;
  4. Identify the necessary supports and resources required by community groups so they can be effective representatives of their communities in dialogue with The City.

Strengthening community governance is important for a healthy and thriving city. Here are my thoughts on the Community Representation Framework Taskforce.

The Process - Where We Are

The Community Representation Framework Task Force formed in December 2016 and has been investigating options to improve Calgary’s current approach to community representation. In February 2018, an update report was presented to City Council. The report included a new approach to community representation based on a process that focuses on collaborative dialogue between a broader base of community organizations and groups. Council approved recommendations to:

  1. Engage with community stakeholders to establish a new approach to community representation;
  2. Return to Council with a final report by the end of 2018.

Input will be gathered through a two-phase approach. Phase one is an online survey used to gain an understanding of the current state of community representation and gather input on a suggested new approach. Phase two will dig deeper into the responses gathered in the survey by using focus groups comprised of a cross-section of diverse community stakeholders.

Project Timeline

  • February 2018: Update report on community representation framework. Council approved recommendations to engage with community stakeholders and provide Council a final report by the end of 2018.
  • April 2018: Phase 1 – engagement with community associations and a cross-section of other community stakeholders through an online survey.
  • May 2018: Phase 1 - report back to participants.
  • May and June 2018: Phase 2 – engagement with small groups representing a cross-section of community stakeholders to dig deeper into the issues and potential future scenarios.
  • July 2018: report back to community stakeholders and the task force.
  • October / November 2018: report to Committee and Council.
  • January 2019: Pilot project phase and implementation of recommendations.

The pilot projects are intended to provide opportunity to test any new approach supported by Council, review lessons learned and consider further input from community stakeholders before any new approach is rolled out on a city-wide basis.

A suggested new approach to community representation

The Community Representation Framework Task Force has been investigating an approach of creating Council-authorized, City-supported groups of community stakeholders called ‘district forums’. At this stage in our process, the idea of district forums holds promise to achieve program goals, but we require community input to better understand the current state of community representation in Calgary and any opportunities or challenges this new approach may pose.

We are looking for specific input that will help us better define a community representation approach that we can propose to Council later in 2018 and test through pilot projects in 2019.

The feedback will also help us identify other aspects of the community representation framework with respect to supports and resources that are necessary to achieve the program goals and ways to improve community involvement in The City’s planning and development processes.

What Is A District?

A district is an area of the city composed of multiple communities based around significant features of the urban landscape that serve important functions for more than a single community such as main streets, transit station areas and other amenities like regional parks, schools and recreation centres.

What Is A District Forum?

Currently, a district forum is just an idea that the task force would like to receive feedback about. As suggested, it is:

  • an assembly of representatives of organizations and groups from communities within the district. These can include community associations, resident’s associations, business improvement area groups, cultural groups, faith-based organizations, youth and senior’s groups and service organizations, to name just a few of the possibilities.
  • intended to be Council authorized, through approved Terms of Reference that describe governance and operations of the forum, membership eligibility and roles and responsibilities of community organizations and of The City.
  • supported by The City to help achieve the program goals. Resources might include funding, staff support to help facilitate and organize meetings and training programs to help members effectively represent community interests and perspectives.

Why A District Forum?

Planning at a district scale allows communities to collaborate on local area plans that focus on common elements of interest, like main streets, transit station areas, regional parks, schools and recreation centres, while also providing the opportunity to contribute input on proposed development at the community scale.

District forums can provide opportunity to support inclusive, collaborative planning processes more effectively and efficiently. Currently, there are over 200 plans that provide guidance to local planning and more than 150 community areas. By shifting some of the planning processes to the district scale The City hopes to reduce the number of plans to about 50. This will simplify the review of land use and development applications and allow The City to provide appropriate resources to better support inclusive and collaborative planning processes. In recent discussions, the task force has considered the need to provide resources for a district forum such as:

  • A ‘convener’ to provide services like meeting facilitation and conflict resolution, ensure compliance with terms of reference and City standards related to reporting, etc.
  • Administrative support to prepare meeting agendas and minutes, manage records and oversee budget
  • Other professional supports to recruit member organizations, communicate with forum members, leadership and process training and education, subject matter expertise (planners, for example) and mediation services.

What Will the Role of Community Associations and Other Community Organizations Be In Relation to a District Forum?

Terms of reference for a district forum will outline the roles and responsibilities of member organizations and groups as participants in a district forum as well as The City as a supporter. Specific terms of reference will be developed as part of preparation for a pilot project.

Will A District Forum Decide the Outcomes of Community Engagement? Will the District Forum Write a Community's Recommendation on Planning Issues? 

The district forum is not intended to make decisions on behalf of community, but rather to support an open, inclusive process that welcomes interested organizations and facilitates opportunities for them to more effectively collaborate with one another and with The City.

Community organizations will remain independent of The City and will be able to either develop their own independent positions on planning and development matters or develop positions in partnership with other organizations and groups, as they choose.

How Will This Change The Way Land Use and Development Applications Are Reviewed?

Once a new local area plan is established, land use and development review processes will be conducted at either the district or community level according to the significance of the proposal and its location in the district. For example, a land use application along a main street would likely be reviewed by a district forum because it is in an area of interest to more than just one community. A small redevelopment proposal on a residential street that does not have broad impacts in the district will likely be reviewed by stakeholders of the community. In either case, communities will continue to be represented in land use and development application reviews.

It Sounds Like A District Forum Is Already Decided As The New Approach To Community Representation. Why Bother To Engage With The Community? 

A district forum is only an idea at this point. Input from community stakeholders will be used by the task force to continue their discussions about the future of community representation and whether a district forum is the best way to achieve the goals of the community representation framework, what opportunities and challenges it might pose for community organizations and how membership might be defined. In addition, whatever approach is eventually adopted by Council, it will be introduced through pilot projects, giving additional opportunity for community stakeholders to provide input on its suitability.

Update on the Re-Investment in East Calgary & International Ave

 
 Rendering of the BRT Stations. Source: City of Calgary

Rendering of the BRT Stations. Source: City of Calgary

Written by the BRT Project Team

Published on May 2, 2018

Work will start up on International Avenue this week, and there are some upcoming detours and closures we want to let you know about.

From May 4 to May 7, crews will be reconstructing the road at 33 Street and 17 Avenue S.E. No left turns will be permitted at the intersection while crews do this work.

 The girders have been installed and the new bridge spanning the Western Headworks Canal and Deerfoot Trail are taking shape! (Source: 17 Avenue SE BRT team)

The girders have been installed and the new bridge spanning the Western Headworks Canal and Deerfoot Trail are taking shape! (Source: 17 Avenue SE BRT team)

On May 5, traffic will shift to the south of 17 Avenue S.E. between 26 and 30 Street S.E. Access to Barlow Trail S.E. will be via 16 Avenue S.E. There will be no access from westbound 17 Avenue S.E. to Barlow Trail S.E.

Detour: There will be no access from westbound 17 Avenue S.E. to Barlow Trail S.E.. (Photo Source: City of Calgary)

Between May 11-14, The south east corner of 17 Avenue and 36 Street S.E. will be closed. Northbound traffic will be detoured to 33 Street S.E.

 Source: The City of Calgary

Source: The City of Calgary

This week crews will be reconstructing the road on the north side of the intersections between 47 and 51 Streets. Closures of up to five days will be required as crews move from intersection to intersection.

The crews will be removing the sidewalks on the north of 17 Avenue between 37 and 47 Street S.E. as well, and temporary walkways will be set up while crews are removing sidewalks. Between 52 to 60 Street S.E. crews will be working on underground utilities.

 The re-vamped International Ave will be here sooner than you think. (Photo source: International Avenue. 

The re-vamped International Ave will be here sooner than you think. (Photo source: International Avenue. 

Don’t forget your favourite businesses on International Avenue will be open during construction, so make sure to stop by. Thank you for your patience as we work to make 17 Avenue a great space for everyone. 

What’s Been Completed?

·         Traffic light bases are installed at 47 and 50 Street S.E.

·         Traffic signal bases have been installed at 33 and 42 Street S.E.

·         Roadway removal between 31 and 35 Streets S.E. are complete.

·         36 Street building demolition complete.

·         Deerfoot Bridge girders installed.

·         Western Headworks Canal bridge girders installed.

·         Bow River Bridge East span girders installed.

For more information visit calgary.ca/17avesebrt

 

7 Great Ways to Get Flood Information in Calgary

 
 River flooding impacts all Calgarians who live, work, commute or play in the city and along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. (Photo Source: City of Calgary) 

River flooding impacts all Calgarians who live, work, commute or play in the city and along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. (Photo Source: City of Calgary) 

As we approach flood season and the five-year anniversary of the 2013 Southern Alberta and Calgary flood, here are some plans for the City of Calgary’s 2018 flood readiness campaign to update you about the actions The City has taken to become a more flood resilient city.

With a higher-than-average snowpack, overland flooding affecting several Alberta communities and the five-year anniversary of the 2013 Southern Alberta and Calgary flood, The City knows that river flooding and the damage it has, and can cause, is top-of-mind for Calgarians. It is The City of Calgary’s priority to monitor, manage and reduce flood risk, and to ensure citizens understand their risk and have the resources available to prepare.

River flooding impacts all Calgarians who live, work, commute or play in the city and along the Bow and Elbow Rivers. River flooding is most likely to occur between May 15 and July 15. It is important to note that:

  • Heavy rainfall upstream of Calgary has the biggest influence on river flood risk. These events are challenging to forecast because Calgary is so close to the mountains. We can sometimes see potential rain events 5 to 7 days ahead, but by the time we know how high river flows may be, we may have less than 24 hours to respond.
  • A high snowpack alone can cause high flows, but does not cause our rivers to flood. The snowpack in the mountains has been higher than average this year, however, lower spring temperatures in the mountains means the snow is melting slower than on the prairies, where snowmelt is causing flooding in other municipalities.
  • The City and Province continuously monitor for conditions that can develop into flood events.

Since 2013, together with the Province, we have committed more than $150 million towards projects that will reduce the risk of river flood damage. We have also strengthened our understanding of the flow of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, how the rivers change and have changed, flood modelling, forecasting, preparedness and response. 

We all have a critical role to play in preparing for river flooding.

The City of Calgary’s 2018 Flood Readiness Campaign aims to provide up to date information to Calgarians about how to understand our flood risk, be prepared and stay informed.

Seven great ways to get flood information this year

  • Visiting Disaster Alley (May 5)
  • Attending the open house for Bow River communities at Foothills Academy, with presentations by Frank Frigo and Chief Sampson (see below)
  • Looking out for increased flood information in digital ads and on social media
  • Visiting the monthly City News blog posts, calgarycitynews.com that will have frequently-updated information on:
    • snowpack and flood risk
    • personal preparedness
    • mitigation projects
    • climate change and flood risk
  • Reading the bi-weekly Flood e-newsletter, and sign up at calgary.ca/floodinfo
  • Receiving regular and frequent updates on the City of Calgary flood website calgary.ca/floodinfo
  • Signing up to www.gccarra.ca for Ward 9-specific Flood information

We’ll continue to increase our communications to you during this time and continue to do the work to mitigate flood damage and protect Calgary against potential flood events.

In the meantime, we invite you to attend the Flood Preparedness Open House for Bow River Communities and to share this invitation with your friends and neighbours who are able to attend our first open house.

Flood Preparedness Open House for Bow River Communities

Please visit calgary.ca/floodinfo for more information, sign up for the City of Calgary e-newsletter and download the Flood Readiness Guide.

 

Moving Forward on the 17 Avenue SE Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project

 
 Rendering of the BRT Stations. Source: City of Calgary

Rendering of the BRT Stations. Source: City of Calgary

Written by the BRT Project Team

Published on April 30, 2018

Crews are getting ready to start construction on International Avenue in mid-April.

They will be out working on traffic light bases at 42 and 33 Street, ENMAX will be doing utility work at 28 and 30 Street, and prepping the roadway and detoured sections to get ready for construction.

In May the project will be shifting westbound traffic between 26 and 30 Street S.E. to the south side of 17 Avenue S.E.

 The girders have been installed and the new bridge spanning the Western Headworks Canal and Deerfoot Trail are taking shape! (Source: 17 Avenue SE BRT team)

The girders have been installed and the new bridge spanning the Western Headworks Canal and Deerfoot Trail are taking shape! (Source: 17 Avenue SE BRT team)

The BRT bridges are taking shape and the girders have been installed on all three bridges. Over the next month crews will continue the work on the three bridges and the nearby retaining walls.

On April 14, the temporary traffic lights at 9 Avenue and 19 Street S.E. and at Blackfoot Trail and 19 Street S.E. will be activated. Later in April, a traffic detour will be set up for northbound traffic from 19 Street onto Blackfoot trail.

 Source: The City of Calgary

Source: The City of Calgary

Don’t forget your favourite businesses on International Avenue will be open during construction, so make sure to stop by. Thank you for your patience as we work to make 17 Avenue a great space for everyone. For more details on the work happening over the next few weeks please see the attached update.

What’s Been Completed?

·         Traffic light bases are installed at 47 and 50 Street S.E.

·         36 Street building demolition complete.

·         Deerfoot Bridge girders installed.

·         Western Headworks Canal bridge girders installed.

·         Bow River Bridge East span girders installed.

For more information visit calgary.ca/17avesebrt